IDLIB, Syria / ANKARA, Turkey
A seventh evacuation convoy carrying opposition fighters and their dependents from Homs’s northern countryside arrived to Aleppo’s western outskirts and Idlib province on Monday, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground.
The 109-bus convoy, accompanied by 66 civilian vehicles, ferried 3,737 people from northern Homs on Monday, bringing the total number of people to have been evacuated so far to 18,000.
Evacuees will be accommodated at refugee camps, schools and mosques in the two provinces.
On May 2, the Syrian regime and opposition groups agreed to a cease-fire in Homs’s northern countryside.
Under the deal, Russian and regime forces will move into the region while opposition fighters will be allowed to depart the area after surrendering their heavy weapons.
The agreement also provides opposition fighters with a safe exit from other opposition-held parts of northern Syria.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a vicious conflict that began in 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
Reporting by Burak Karacaoglu, Adham Kako, Esref Musa and Levent Tok:Writing by Maımaıtımıng Yılıxıatı